FOCUS 2015: On Track for Innovation

When I was asked to organize the Innovation and Thought Leadership track at FOCUS 2015, I recognized that I would need to assemble some high-impact speakers who would get attendees thinking about the radical changes they need to make in their supply chains.

There are incredibly complex challenges facing retailers, distributors and manufacturers today, including the rise of omni-channel selling and the connected consumer. Faced with these challenges, most companies are required to make dramatic shifts in their business models — but how can you be confident in your decisions? The aim of this informative track is to share some proven strategies and best practices for supply chain innovation. Hopefully our world-class speakers will inspire you and give you the conviction you need to make similar changes within your own organization.

Becoming Customer-Centric: Best Practices

Today, nearly every company has been forced to engage in multi-channel selling — yet a recent JDA study revealed that only 16 percent of businesses are achieving a profit in their omni-channel ventures.

Because JDA’s experienced consultants work closely with leading companies, they have unique insights into common obstacles to profitable omni-channel selling. Sharon Mills will outline how best-in-class retailers are making the cultural shift to become customer-centric across channels, while remaining profitable. In addition, Rod Anderson will share his insights about how leading retailers are developing innovative digital strategies. His diagnostic approach will help you determine where your business is today, where you need to be tomorrow and the right pathway to get there.

Offering a distributor’s perspective, Rich Fitzgerald of Avnet will discuss how his company is using software-defined strategies and solutions — such as predictive analytics — to serve global clients in a volatile, configure-to-order business model. As for the manufacturer’s perspective, Kehat Shahar of SanDisk will share proven strategies that his company has used to create a highly flexible, responsive supply chain centered on customer needs.

Big Data, Big Challenges

In becoming customer-centric, certainly one of the biggest challenges is managing the enormous wealth of customer data available today — and transforming that information into action. Anne Robinson will discuss how Verizon is turning its data and analytics into actionable knowledge that drives profitability within the sales and operations planning process. Brett Frankenberg of Coca Cola will discuss how supply chain segmentation can help target specific consumer needs. Sudhakar Advikolanu of SanDisk and John Sarvari of JDA will join forces to share the results of initial pilots that have integrated JDA solutions with SAP Hana — reducing latency from supply chain processes.

There are many forward-looking technologies under development in JDA Labs that will help companies build a more customer-centric supply chain. Suresh Acharya will provide a sneak peek into some exciting developments in the areas of big data, machine learning and robust optimization. Louis-Martin Rousseau will offer a glimpse at emerging JDA technologies for managing uncertainty, while John Sarvari will discuss JDA’s overall approach for leveraging in-memory technologies across our solutions.

The Warehouse of Tomorrow

While nearly every supply chain function has been impacted by omni-channel commerce, warehousing and distribution have been under special scrutiny as companies seek to minimize the cost to serve customers across channels.

JDA has pulled together an expert panel of practitioners to discuss the “Warehouse of the Future”. Pete Grett of Genco, Kelly Goodwin of PepsiCo and Mahesh Rekhani of Amway will join me on this panel. We will discuss a range of current operations challenges, as well as practical strategies to drive greater efficiency, flexibility and responsiveness in the warehouse — while still delivering high levels of customer service. I am looking forward to an engaging, stimulating discussion.

What Will the Future Look Like?

Beyond the warehouse, the future holds thrilling potential for foundational changes across the global supply network. JDA’s Chief Innovation Officer and Head of JDA Labs, Jean-Francois Gagne, will explore how emerging technologies — such as wearables and drones — might eventually impact your supply chain. Scott Ehlke, director of user experience at JDA, will provide a visionary look at next-generation user interfaces. Steve Tracy and Maria Taylor of Pennsylvania State University will discuss the talents and skillsets that supply chain professionals will need to succeed in the future.

Whatever your unique challenges, I’m confident that the Innovation and Thought Leadership track at FOCUS 2015 will prove relevant, inspirational and thought-provoking. From today’s strategic challenges to revolutionary, futuristic technologies, I believe you will be both surprised and educated — and ready to take your own supply chain performance to a new level.

  11 Comments   Comment

  1. Customers are the king and customer centric strategy is key for success. Beautifully collected all the real life issues and solutions to these in this blog. We hope FOCUS 2015 will bring more success and allow industry to think more about customers.

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  2. I’m looking forward to hearing the customer driven sessions, the inspiration that our clients provide when they share their stories of trials and successes are incredible resources for future initiatives.

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  3. My only issue about this article is that now I’m even more torn with what sessions I can fit into my agenda. #JDAFOCUS2015 offers so many great tracts and sessions that time management becomes a critical issue. Thank you for the thorough overview about this exciting tract! Hopefully I can attend some of these innovative sessions!

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